Monday, September 29, 2014

Saints and Sinners Race Report 2014

The bling

The after party!

I had a great time racing over the weekend.  I ran a really hard fought race.  I hope I don't go off on too many tangents.  My apologies in advance for this being long winded and or melodramatic.

Before the Race

On Monday the week of the race I ran three miles easy and later on that day I had a slight tickle in my throat.  By Tuesday evening I was downing NyQuil in the hopes of sleeping really soundly for the rest of the week. Wednesday morning I did my last speed work/shake out workout, and I was able to run fine. 

I had a cold with some chest congestion but, by Thursday it was only in my sinuses and by Friday I felt a lot better (NyQuil & Ricola Cough drops are the best).

The weather was also quite strange.  It had been hot all week long with a big storm in the forecast for Friday evening/Saturday morning.  Friday night did not disappoint.
Photo from the Las Vegas Sun

There were huge lighting strikes across the sky, gusty winds, and scattered showers.  I was worried that they might cancel the race if there is lighting over Lake Mead in the morning.

The Morning of the Race

I woke up at 4:00AM.  For breakfast I ate a  peanut butter and banana sandwich and I drank some Gatorade.   Then I got dressed... Earlier in the week I couldn't decide what shirt to wear to race.  I had planned on a tank top if it was going to be hot.  In the end I decided to go the sentimental route.   I wore my LVTC holiday half marathon shirt.  

The back of my shirt. LVTC represent!!
The front of my shirt after the race

The Las Vegas Track Club has been really supportive to local runners and I was chosen as their most improved runner earlier this year.  

For shoes I still couldn't decide between the Brooks Pure Flows and my ASICS GT-2000's I brought both pairs with me to the race and in the end, I'm so glad I chose the ASICS.  The race course ended up being much more of technical/trail course this year. 

I got to the race site at 5:50AM.  I picked up my race packet, and then I met up with my  very good friend Jenn. We hung out, warmed up by jogging back and forth to our cars and to the port-a-johns. It was nice to have a friend with me to make the time go by faster.  I also drank about 3/4 of a can of diet coke, had a few bites of a Cliff bar (Blue berry Crisp),  and I ate a Ricola cough drop right before the start.. 10 minutes before the race, we walked up the hill to the start line.

The Race

The weather was cooler than it had been last year.  There had been lighting early in the morning but it was letting up.  It was still cloudy and windy.  

I walked up to the front part of the corral and I noticed that there weren't as many people in the corrals. The start seemed a little more low key than the previous year.  

I recognized a runner from online and I introduced myself to her.  She is s speedy runner named Pam. I hoped that I wold be able to hang on to her during the race and at least keep her in my sights.   She was very friendly and nice.

Before you knew it the announcer said 5,4,3,2,1 and blew an air horn.  It almost happened too fast.
Photo Courtesy of  Saints and Sinners Instagram

Down the hill we  went...I had a much more aggressive  race plan in my mind.  I wanted to run a 1:33 half marathon and my goal was to hit 6:55'-7:00's for the first 6 miles........

Mile 1-6:55

The runners took off and I found my groove.  I felt like I was holding back, but the downhill is pretty steep

Mile 2-6:52

We were on a stretch of downhill that was concrete but, it was also a drainage area for the storm that happened the night before.  There was a lot of rocks, dirt, and debris on the road.  You had to be very diligent with your footing.

Mile 3-6:54

We hit a stretch of uphill and the runners had become a bit spread out.  I knew there were a few females ahead of me but, I didn't know what place I was overall.  I was able to catch two guys going through this hilly section.  I was also treated to some neat views of Lake Mead....
this picture is from last year's race.

Mile 4-7:08

The course continued on down the hill.   I decided to turn on my music.. I had been hoping to wait until the halfway point to turn it on.   My left quad was starting to burn, and I thought to myself.  "You are going to have to work for this, if you want to run a 1:33".

Mile 5- 7:03  
I passed an aid station and I grabbed a cup of Gatorade..  I went through the first two aid stations without taking anything in... I also caught sight of a female runner  (It was Pam the runner I talked to before the race) about 200 meters ahead of me.  I made it a point to try to slowly reel her in.

Mile 6- 7:06

I knew the downhill stretch was coming to an end soon.  I tried to ease off the pace a little bit because I knew the trail section  was going to be tough....  I grabbed another cup of Gatorade and took a quick drink.

Mile 7- 7:40

 I caught up to Pam when we were running through the canyons before the tunnels. She answered right back by speeding up and creating another gap between us.    I remember it being really windy during this stretch.

*****Miles 8-10***** These miles are a bit off because we had to run through 5 train tunnels and then there was a turn around point where we went through the 5 tunnels again.  My Garmin messured the half as only 12.83 miles but, I know my Garmin cut out a few times because my stats were really funky.  

Mile 8- 7:52

The lead runners are starting to come back through the turn around point.  I'm trying to close the gap again between Pam and I.  The train tunnels were really freaky and cool at the same time.  It was hard to see.  
Also not from Saturday's race, but I wanted to show you
how cool these tunnels look.

Mile 9-8:28

I got to the turn around point/aid station. and I was right on Pam's heels.  I just wanted to hang on to her for as long as I could.   At the turnaround point I should have stopped to grab a cup of fluid but, instead I turned around,  and tried to grab a cup of Gatorade at the same time, and then I fell.......  It happened so fast...It wasn't quite a face plant, more like a slide into home plate....

I sprang right back up and forgot about the Gatorade (big mistake) and I took off running.  I also dropped the "F" bomb.  I knew if I stopped or started to freak out, that it would be all over....

A lot of stuff ran through my head.  "4 miles!!! 4 miles!!! You can run 4 miles!! Just survive and get through the trail section.  No pitty party until later.  Just RUN!!!  Close the gap, don't let this race get away from you."

Adrenaline is a strange thing...  

Mile 10- 8:09

I looked down at my hands to assess the damage and they were a little dirty/bloody.  Around mile 10 I started doing math in my head... I hit the 10 mile marker at around 1:12:XXX I was still ahead of my pacing from last year, so I just told myself to fight...

Mile 11- 7:39

I was so happy to finally get out of the trail section and back on to the pavement.  I passed the last aid station.  I thought I grabbed a cup of Gatorade.... Nope... It was only water..... I wanted to cry.....

Mile 12- 7:21 

The course is downhill and I can see two females ahead of me.  Pam caught another runner ahead of us and I was trying to close the gap to the other runner.  The course was downhill switchbacks.

In my head  I'm counting the distance down.  "C'mon a mile and some change to go..You can do this!!! Fight. You are almost done with this!!"..My legs hurt so bad.. I had a few good songs come on my Ipod, so the music was a welcome distraction.

Mile 12.83- 5:52 (7:07 pace) With a mile ago, I tried to run this as hard as I could....  I was really grateful that  there were mile markers at each mile.  The race organizers even placed a 1/2 mile to go sign.  I love these for reference.  I had horrible cotton mouth and when I was running down the final stretch I could feel my breakfast coming up....

Garmin Time 1:34:59- 12.87 miles ***

Official Time: 1:34:51

5th woman overall

4th woman in my age group.

20th overall finisher out of 607 finishers.

I crossed the finish line and I made it a few steps past, and then I threw up all over the ground.  I heaved a second time and then I was okay...  A race volunteer was very nice and she handed me a bottle of water and wanted to make sure that I was okay.   I think I was more embarrassed about throwing up and I didn't want anyone to make a fuss over me.  I did walk over to medical tent to get me knee, elbow, and hands cleaned up.

After I got my bearings back, I went to talk to some of the other finishers, and to congratulate Pam on her 3rd place overall finish.
So neat to meet runners that you already
know online!!! Pam you are a Rock Star

I waited for my friend Jen to come in, and then we took a picture on the bus back to the start line.
Love this girl!!

I ended up being so flustered after the race, that I totally forgot I checked a gear bag with my friend.  We ended up riding the bus back to start line, only to have to go back to get the car keys still inside the gear bag at the finish line.....  

I can't say enough positive things about this race and the race organizers.    I felt horrible after I dropped the "f" bomb when I fell because the aid station had volunteers and their children handing out drinks.  It wasn't their fault I fell.  And I hope I didn't offend any of the kiddos.....

Thank you Saints and Sinners for providing a great event and I so hope to be back next year!!!

The Pity Party
I'm trying really hard not to think about the "what if's?".    I'm a little bummed that my time wasn't in the 1:33's but, I do take comfort in the fact that I ran the last four miles of that race on pure adrenaline and I was still able to go under 1:35.  Here's some pictures of my road rash...

I'm hoping to go for a short shake out run tomorrow, and then we will slowly ease back into training. Thanks for reading!


  1. Pam and I are Dailymile friends!

  2. Congratulations, Dolly! a great job running and writing too.

    1. Thank you for following along Terry. I hope we get to go for a run again soon. :)

  3. Thanks for the love Doll!! It's great to read your play by play, even after hearing it in person.. it gives me an adrenaline rush all over again!! Your such a rock star and I'll say it over and over again... a true inspiration!!! Words cannot explain how excited I am about running by your side RnR in November!! XOXO

    1. Hey Jenn, Thank you for being my battle buddy on Saturday. Also thank you for coming over after the race. It has been forever since we got to hangout. RNRLV is 7 weeks away. Lots of time to train... We can do this all over again in November!!

  4. great re-cap Dolly! it was very nice meeting you, thank you for saying "hi!" I'm sorry to hear that you took a fall. I'm not used to racing on that kind of terrain! Loved the course & variety it offered. Gatorade?!!! I missed the Gatorade option at the aid stations! you really raced a great race Dolly!! I'm happy the weather played nice & we didn't wake up to rain! Again, CONGRATS on your fantastic finish lady & thank you for your kind words! have a great week! :)

    1. Thank you Pam! It was a pleasure to meet you and race with you. There was Gatorade or Powerade at the aid stations, but they flip flopped on which side they would be on. Sometimes it was the right side and sometimes it was the left side.... It's hard to grab a cup of fluid when you are flying downhill.... Live and learn. I'm going o have to figure out how to eat and drink on the run if I'm going to tackle 26.2 . Good Luck next month in NY and I hope to see you again in Las Vegas.

    2. you're welcome! :) yes, I hope I meet up with you again in Vegas. my brother will be running his 2nd full. I'm thinking about moving up from the half to the full so, I can run it with him. :) have a great day Dolly!!